From: Dee Crowe
Subject: PA-via What is Positive Atheism?
Date: Tuesday, February 09, 1999 1:36 PM
I have been invited to write a couple of 300-word columns on atheism for our little local newspaper. I will be reading your material on positive atheism with great interest, because I want to speak to the question I was asked recently by a potential reader of my column: "You atheists seem determined to bash the Bible and Christianity. Don't you believe in anything besides your negative opinions about us theists?" I plan to approach the subject by discussing my confidence in (belief in) the scientific method as the criterion of truth. (Gather evidence, formulate a theory, gather more evidence to check the theory, revise the theory, etc.) I suppose, however, that I will have to justify the importance I place on the scientific method. Theists like to believe that there are other roads to truth.
From: Cliff Walker <email@example.com>
To: Dee Crowe
Subject: Re: PA-via What is Positive Atheism?
Date: Wednesday, February 10, 1999 2:38 PM
A good point is made by a New York pathologist (called "K" or "Kornform") in one of our Q&A columns. He says: "Atheism, in its organized form, exists solely to counter the claims of theism."
While this point must be made in any such discussion, it is also important to remember that atheism is the default: it is theism that is learned as one grows older. Atheism, properly defined, is simply the lack of theism. So, then, the vast majority of atheists do not pay any attention to theism -- or atheism for that matter. It is only the atheist activists who, having heard a claim they find objectionable, sometimes choose to refute it. Most atheist activists who do this do so in the name of truth and compassion: we hate watching people being hoodwinked by charlatans and liars and wolves in sheep's clothing.
The issue of atheism being the default is covered handily by George H. Smith in his book "Atheism: The Case Against God." We have posted the first chapter. Pay close attention to part II. "The Meaning of Atheism" and part VI. "What Atheism Is Not."
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
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